RYEDALE MP Kevin Hollinrake’s Parental Bereavement Bill has received support from both sides of the Commons.

The new bill, once enacted, will for the first time create statutory protection by giving employed parents the entitlement to two weeks’ paid leave if they lose a child under the age of 18.

It was being discussed at its first public bill committee on Wednesday, January 31.

Mr Hollinrake said afterwards: “I was touched that there were so many MPs personally affected by the loss of their child and who were prepared to share their stories. Carolyn Harris MP, for example, experienced overwhelming grief when she lost her eight year old son in a car accident. The suddenness and the unpredictability is incomprehensible.

“The vast number of employers react with compassion and kindness in such a devastating and demanding time.

“Apparently there have been some extraordinary cases of parents not being given time off to attend a funeral. There are also examples of bereaved parents being pressured to return to work too soon after losing their child. This is why this statutory protection is so important.”

The bill will next be discussed by the committee today (Wednesday).

Mr Hollinrake added: “I am grateful to my constituents who have written to me about this issue, the charities who have met me and proposed amendments and of course my colleagues in Parliament.”